Bo Jackson evokes Taylor Swift while opining on Cam Newton

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“I don’t watch baseball,” Bo Jackson said when I asked him his thoughts on the 2015 Chicago White Sox.

Naturally, I followed up by asking him if he watches football.

“I don’t watch football, that’s like you going home, grabbing a beer and watching Ted Koppel.

“You don’t do that, do you?”

No, I do not.

Koppel retired in 2005; so even if I wanted to watch him on television, it wouldn’t be possible. Unless I became motivated enough to search Koppel clips on YouTube. I do appreciate Bo Jackson comparing me to a legend like Ted Koppel however.

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“Actually, I am a fan, but my life is just too busy, and when I go to White Sox park it’s usually for business. That’s part of my agreement with the White Sox,” he continued.

Jackson was part of a special marketing promo at a recent White Sox home game. He surprised a family with pre-game dinner and seats behind home plate. The famous Heisman winner and MLB All-Star MVP makes his home in Burr Ridge; an affluent western suburb of Chicago. He’s had extensive ties to the region for quite some time. In Chicago, Jackson will always be remembered for an iconic game-winning home run he hit during the White Sox 1993 AL West Division title-winning season.

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I spoke with Jackson at Nike Train Chicago, and refrained from making any “Bo Knows” references. (Whoops, I guess I just did)  Bo was there to oversee the final training session, and give words of encouragement to those who had just completed an extremely vigorous workout. Joining him was Trevor van Riemsdyk of the Chicago Blackhawks (go here for our exclusive with him)

To experience the intense workouts of Nike Train Chicago you’ll want to go to this link.

Chicago Cubs superstar Anthony Rizzo was there the week before, and he gave us an exclusive in which he discussed his training, his social media habits and a host of other topics. 

You can’t have a Bo Jackson article without covering both baseball and football at the same time, so naturally there is a follow up here to Jackson’s recent public defense of Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton. Jackson called out the widespread criticism of Newton; who recently signed a $104,000,000 deal with the club. 

This despite Newton’s pedestrian production on the field.

Newton has been to the Pro Bowl in two of his four seasons in the NFL, but he’s still under .500 as a starter. Perhaps more important here is context. Given the intense backlash against the Chicago Bears paying Jay Cutler $22.1 million in 2014, what should one expect this year as the Panthers will pay Newton $31m!

Bo Jackson went with the classic “you didn’t play/you can’t play, therefore you shouldn’t criticize him” bit when asked about Newton’s payday, and those who take issue with it.

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The 1985 Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn stuck up for the 2008 Hesiman Trophy winner from Auburn with:

“Those are haters. Those people that are poking holes in his game – come put on a uniform and try to do what he does,” Jackson told a horde of reporters in Charlotte after participating in Newton’s charity kickball tournament.

“It’s easy to sit there on your sofa and drink a beer and eat peanuts and criticize somebody,” he continued.

“Get your lazy ass up and … try to play. End of story.”

That argument is a very easy straw man to knock down and Keith Larson of the Charlotte Observer did so a week ago.  His op-ed rejoinder was executed to perfection; and worthy of high praise.
“People criticize you,” Jackson said to me.
(Yes, they do. Especially those with some variation of “Buckeyes” or “Ohio State” in their Twitter handle/avatar/background photo)

“As long as there’s critics out there, guess what, you’ll always be on somebody’s mind. That’s how I look at it,” Jackson summated.

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I agreed and then paraphrased Oscar Wilde’s famous “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

Bo absolutely concurred with my statement. As did Larson at the end of his column:

“The only sound you don’t want to hear in The Arena, Bo? The sound of silence.”

The moral of the story isn’t whether or not Newton will or won’t earn his exorbitant paycheck. Or even if it’s possible. The main lesson is, controversy always has, and always will, move the needle. Bo Jackson, Keith Larson, and Oscar Wilde would all likely agree.

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The month of June means there’s little, if anything, to talk about football wise. So we should thank Bo Jackson and Cam Newton for providing some material.

Paul M. Banks owns, operates and writes The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with Fox Sports Digital. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes to the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. He also appears regularly on numerous sports talk radio stations all across the country.

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Comments

  1. Fuckov&die says:

    Fucking click bait. How did Bo evoke Taylor Swift? You don’t even mention her in the article. And if you’re alluding to her through Bo’s actions/words, plenty of people were doing/saying the same well before Miss Swift. With my first and last visit, this website goes straight on to my blocked sites list.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What will Cam Newton’s receiver corps look like this year?

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